Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Absurdly named U. Michigan leftist group demands Ben Shapiro not be allowed to speak

Shapiro has ‘furthered division and hate across the nation’

Ah yes, here we go again: A progressive student group wants someone with whom they disagree banned from speaking because their widdle feelings will be hurt.

This time it’s the University of Michigan’s so-called “Ethical Investment Front,” an “offshoot” of the Students of Color Liberation Front, which doesn’t want conservative talker Ben Shapiro on campus due to his “extremely anti-abortion, transphobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist,” yada yada yada views.

To give you an idea of what these constitutional nitwits are all about, almost two years ago they issued more than 100 demands to U-M officials. Here’s a sampling:

— U-M’s Student Life “must” pay each and every board member of various student identity groups (such as the Black Student Union, the Native American Student Association and Arab Student Association) a stipend of $1,500 per semester.

— U-M must observe Anishinaabek religious ceremonies. The Anishinaabek are “culturally related Indigenous peoples” in present-day Michigan according to Wikipedia, and as such Anishinaabek U-M students must be allowed to either ditch classes and/or “attend class remotely or complete work asynchronously” due to their observances.

— U-M must “provide funding to undocumented students during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

— U-M “must cut ALL ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” 

MORE: No apparent progress on ‘diversity of thought’ forum promised by University of Michigan dean

Shapiro was invited by the U-M chapter of Young Americans for Freedom to speak on November 15. U-M is a public institution, which means the First Amendment backs up his right to say what he has to say.

It doesn’t matter that the Ethical Investment Front believes Shapiro will “cause harm to our campus.” It doesn’t matter if the EIF thinks Shapiro uses only “surface-level understandings of race and sociology” in his speeches. And it doesn’t matter if the EIF feels Shapiro has “furthered division and hate across the nation.”

The EIF believes it can get around the pesky First Amendment by making it too expensive for U-M to have Shapiro on campus. It says public institutions have “historically exercised its right to turn away speakers due to high costs and an inability to ensure public safety.”

In other words, we can make it too pricey for ‘ya, U-M.

All in all, the best the EIF can do to justify its inanity is to compare Shapiro to the 2018 appearance of white nationalist Richard Spencer. (White nationalists aren’t exactly known for their fondness of Orthodox Jews by the way … which Shapiro is.) What these crybullies never realize is how quickly “rules” they want enforced can be applied against them.

Like try this, for example: Earlier this week, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Richard Forno wrote an incredibly eye-roll-inducing piece that could have come from the mouth of MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

In it, Forno (pictured) — who, irony of ironies, lectures on “information warfare” — hilariously claimed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was attacked by a “lone right-wing extremist,” that political violence has “primarily targeted Democrats” and that the country’s current polarization was fueled by the end of the Fairness Doctrine and “abandonment” of bipartisanship led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Supposedly “apolitical,” Forno also used the recent Paul Pelosi attack to claim conservative politicians’ use of phrases like “I’m fighting for you!” and “Saving our country!” can serve to inspire “stochastic terrorism” by someone like the Pelosi suspect.

So … if Forno were to come to the University of Michigan to speak, why should he be allowed … if Shapiro isn’t? Forno’s claims in the article arguably are as “harmful” as anything Shapiro has said.

What free societies are supposed to do in such cases (yes, including even Richard Spencer’s) is let folks say their piece … and then allow opponents tear it apart — if they’re able. Not too many can do that to Ben Shapiro, which, I surmise, is the real reason the Ethical Investment Front doesn’t want him on campus.

MORE: The First Amendment and college students’ ‘muh feels’

IMAGES: The Daily Wire, Jerry Seinfeld/YouTube screencaps; U. Maryland BC screencap

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.